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Old 07-15-2008, 05:29 PM   #1
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Help hanging a problematic door


This weekend I started to install a prehung split jamb 24" interior door at the entry to my bathroom, which I'm wrapping up the remodel on.

I'm a very good carpenter, and have hung a lot of doors over the years, but this one has me stumped.

The latch side jamb is plumb and level, as is the latch side wall. The door jamb matches up with the faces of the sheetrock on this side.

Where the problem begins is on the hinge side. I started at the bottom with one nail in the jamb to set the reveal. Then I realized that the wall (framed in 1959) on the hinge side is not level. It is square to the opening, but is not plumb. It leans inward toward the bath by nearly 1/2" over the height of the door, which when level, leans outward toward the hallway. The door shuts perfectly when level, but when the hinge side lines up with the wall the top of the door at the latch side comes 1/2" short of contacting the jamb stops...Essentially the door is in a twisted postion in the opening because of the jamb positioning.

The challenge here is twofold. First, I'd have to plane off the hinge side jamb in the hallway where it sticks out 1/2" from the middle hinge to the top of the jamb. That way the casing lays flat to the wall. Second, I'm left with a void between the edge of the jamb on the bathroom side and the face of the wall, which will make for an ugly gap between the jamb and the casing. I'm not willing to live with that. It is getting stain so I can't fake it with bondo or caulk.

I can't change the wall. Not an option. They should have done that in 1959. If the wall were out of plumb on both sides of the door this would be easy. Honestly, I demolished the old jamb when I took it out, so I can't figure out how it ever shut before....But as my wife pointed out, it did.

My new door is not twisted or warped. I verified that before veneering it with $60 worth of oak veneer on the bathroom side. I double checked with the 6' level, and the wall goes out of plumb right at the bathroom door header.

Here's my idea...

I'm thinking of making a new door jamb using ripped 1x6's, more like a cased opening. I'll mortise the hinges and hang the door in the opening. Then, I'll install the jamb stops to fit against the door. Since the door will be where it wants to be, the jamb stops won't be level on either side, but they'll at least meet the door, and I'll be able to correctly install casing.

I'm open to options and ideas from those of you that have experience with this!

Thanks for reading this lengthy post and for any help you can offer. Honestly, the carpentry forum is the last place I thought I'd ever be asking for advice!

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Old 07-15-2008, 05:51 PM   #2
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Help hanging a problematic door


All you can do is somehow hide the 1/2" over the 80" height, or distract from it.
Experiment first to see what it takes for the average person not to notice the variation.
The situation is worse if "the eye will be drawn to" this place.

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Old 07-15-2008, 06:19 PM   #3
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Help hanging a problematic door


Could you rip the 1X for the jamb and leave it a little oversize on the hinge side to allow for running a pencil down the jamb on the side next to the inside bathroom wall so that it will be flush when trimmed? In the hall ,could you shim out so that the trim will appear uniform and then create a trim that would look the best for the opening?

It may be best to build the jambs, set the stops,motise the jamb for the hinges and hang the door in the jambs in the shop. In other words pre-hang the door in the shop and secure it at the lock area and with the proper gaps all the away around ,so that it will not move until it is in place.Then place unit in opening and mark for trimming with pencil. Also ,it may be best to use trim head screws instead of nails so that you can more easily re-position the jambs, if necessary.

Last edited by Handyman Jim Noonan; 07-15-2008 at 06:33 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old 07-15-2008, 09:25 PM   #4
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Help hanging a problematic door


This isn't an unusal condition, unfortunately. Maybe one out of every ten doors I hang have an opening that is skewed out of plane.
Often, as a quick and dirty fix, using a standard jamb prehung unit, I remove the stops and see where I like the door most.
In other words, you're going to have to determine a compromise, as the door will tend to project beyond the edge of the jamb at one end. The maximum projection is when the other end is fully closed, door flush with edge of jamb. So now you place your stop at some position that you can live with. Often that means a smaller projection on one end, while the other end has the door into the jamb by some amount; I'll typically try to split the difference, though 1/2" seems more than usual. It helps if the hinge edge of the door is beveled when doing this, as you are, in effect, moving it further in the closed position than intended.
I've never tried fooling with hinge location, not that there is a lot of relocation space available; you'll bind the hinges setting them in too far (and be limited by the knuckle), and project the door beyond the hinge (losing jamb material to screw it into) if you move them out.
I have thought about take 1x6, making jambs, then scribing the jambs to the walls, but with the hinges mounted in the same location, you will end up right back where you started; door projecting beyond the jamb. The wall is the problem, not the jamb or door. Without fixing the wall, you are left to futz with the jambs/stops.
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Old 07-15-2008, 11:35 PM   #5
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Help hanging a problematic door


Thanks for the advice guys. The door sticks out at the top toward the bathI've decided to build the jamb from scratch to fit the wall, and will hang the door before setting the stops. I'm going to cheat the hinges in toward the jamb stops about 1/4", which should make the door look ok and keep it from standing out in front of the face of the wall at that top corner. It should work out with enough harsh language.

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Originally Posted by Handyman Jim Noonan View Post
Also ,it may be best to use trim head screws instead of nails so that you can more easily re-position the jambs, if necessary.
That is a great idea Jim. Since I'm hanging the 1x for the jamb first and installing the stops separately, trim screws will work great! They'll get covered up by the stops.

Thank you both for your thoughts.
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Old 07-17-2008, 05:39 PM   #6
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Help hanging a problematic door


After scribing the jambs to follow the contour of the wall, you can place them in the opening and temporarily secure. Now you can make any adjustments necessary to obtain the exact width that you want.


Last edited by Handyman Jim Noonan; 08-09-2008 at 10:44 AM. Reason: clarification
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Old 07-17-2008, 09:38 PM   #7
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Help hanging a problematic door


Thanks for taking the time to post that info Jim. It is good that you've confirmed the correctness of most of the things I'm planning to do.

I'm going to simplify a couple things because this was once a pre-hung door...I'm just trashing the split jamb. Before I do that, I'm going to use the old jamb as a template to mark the hinge locations. I can also use the top of the jamb and the sides to get my lengths and top reveal right.

Now here's how I'm going to make this more difficult for myself...
Since I'm putting the jamb stops on last, I'm taking the opportunity to make this look right from both sides. The bath is trimmed in oak, the hall is painted. So, I'm doing a two piece jamb, and will hide the splice (and the trim screws) under the jamb stop. It will be poplar on the outside, oak on the inside, and will have pine jamb stops. The poplar and the pine will get paint.

Last edited by Termite; 07-18-2008 at 08:27 AM.
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Old 07-19-2008, 10:43 PM   #8
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Help hanging a problematic door


Success achieved! It worked out great.

I mortised the hinges at different amounts of reveal. Flush, 1/8" back, and 1/4" back. That was the ticket. You can see it, but it isn't very noticeable at all.
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Old 07-20-2008, 05:47 AM   #9
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Help hanging a problematic door


What your favorite barbeque restaurant in kc.
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Old 07-20-2008, 09:06 AM   #10
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What your favorite barbeque restaurant in kc.
This one, in my driveway!

I do a lot of smoking here at the house. I judge at a state championship every year as well. Probaby not good for the cholesterol.
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Old 07-20-2008, 09:10 AM   #11
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747, I like quite a few of the local BBQ haunts. We sure do have plenty to choose from. Arthur Bryant's (east of downtown KCMO in a rough neighborhood) is my hands-down favorite. Their sauce is different, so its either love it or hate it. The whole experience if different there. Other good ones are Jack Stack, Haywards, Gates, Oklahoma Joes, and K&M (in Spring Hill KS). There's an equally long list of ones to avoid. If you're coming to KC let me know and I'll give you that list!
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Old 07-21-2008, 03:08 AM   #12
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Help hanging a problematic door


I will add all of those to my restaurant book. I never get to Kansas city. But if ever i do i will be eating at one of those. I'm always going eastcoast or westcoast or canada BC. Only south is DFW Texas. Now there barbeque down there is ok. They seem to use a thick bold sauce. I kind of prefer a thin sauce or no sauce. But i always when laid at around DFW eat ribs or brisket. Oh just for the record i hate getting laid up around LAX. The restaurants are over priced and you have never seen so many stupid things on a menu. I usually just eat fast food there which really burns me up.
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Old 07-21-2008, 07:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Oh just for the record i hate getting laid up around LAX. The restaurants are over priced and you have never seen so many stupid things on a menu. I usually just eat fast food there which really burns me up.
I'm with you. I had an overnight layover on my honeymoon at the LAX Hilton. That entire area is wierdoville. We went to Tahiti and Moorea in the south Pacific, and the only bad part of the trip was LA. The only way I'm going back to LA is if it is on the way to Tahiti again.

Back to the door...

As I mentioned, splitting the jamb into two pieces and covering the gap with jamb stop worked great. Here's a couple pics.
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